The continued strong consumer appetite for foreign goods widen the US trade deficit in December, sending the full-year import-export gap to a record level in 2021.
- The December deficit in the trade of goods and services expanded by 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted $80.7 billion, just less than the record deficit of $80.8B in September.
- The full-year trade deficit for 2021 expanded 27% to $859.1 billion, larger than the prior record of $763.53 billion in 2006.
- The rapid surge in the trade deficit comes after the US economy continues to rebound strongly from the pandemic-induced plunge during 2020.
- American consumers have spent largely on imported goods, including computers, game machines, and furniture from stimulus money, while willing to spend less on travels and to dine out due to health issues.
Increased demand for capital goods from businesses and higher prices of energy and food products have contributed to increased US import bills.
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Source: U.S. Department of Commerce.